A detailed look at the small but important action in the Sinai Desert 23rd April 1916, when a single British cavalry brigade stunted a major Ottoman attack on the crucial Suez Canal, albeit at horrendous cost to themselves. On this day, an Ottoman force intent on attacking the Suez Canal (what Kaiser Wilhelm called the 'jugular vein of the British Empire') ran into the British 5th Mounted Brigade at the oases of Qatia/Katia and Oghratina. The Warwickshire Yeomanry, Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars (Yeomanry), and Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (Yeomanry) fought for most of the day under the burning sun, outnumbered and without support. The brigade took terrible casualties, but held the Ottomans back long enough for the Canal defences to be activated, allowing the attack to be defeated and the crucial waterway kept open.
Stuart Hadaway is Senior Researcher at the Air Historical Branch (RAF) and was previously curator of various regimental museums and at the RAF Museum. He is the author of a number of books about the First World War in the Middle East including Pyramids and Fleshpots and From Gaza to Jerusalem, as well as 'Tracing Your Great War Ancestors: The Egypt and Palestine Campaigns: A Guide for Family Historians'.